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Mktg – Coca-Cola shoots Rs 4.5 crore TV ad with Akshay Kumar

Ratna Bhushan

NEW DELHI: Beverage maker Coca-Cola India, the country’s third largest advertiser, has just shot its most expensive television commercial with actor
Akshay Kumar for Thums Up – the country’s largest fizzy drink – at an estimated cost of Rs 4.5 crore ($1 million).

Ad industry officials say this could be the most expensive Indian TV commercial, and by far surpasses that of Bharti Airtel DTH’s inaugural campaign that featured 10 celebrities. In addition, Coca-Cola is set to appoint actor Imran Khan to endorse brand Coke. The endorsement deal with Coca-Cola, estimated to have been signed at Rs 2.5 crore annually, marks Imran’s debut on the endorsement circuit. Aamir Khan, Imran’s uncle, already endorses brand Coke and both may feature in commercials for brand Coke together.

The Thums Up, Akshay Kumar commercial has already been shot in the first few days of the New Year, in Malaysia. A Coca-Cola India spokesperson, while declining to comment on the budget, said in response to an ET query: “It is our constant endeavor to strengthen Thums Up’s leadership as India’s largest selling soft drink brand.”

More than three decades after it was launched, Thums Up continues to be ahead of all aerated drinks put together – including Coca-Cola’s own brands and those of rival PepsiCo. The largest chunk of Coca-Cola India’s marketing and ad budgets are allocated to brand Thums Up. This is a far cry from the strategy adopted by the company soon after it had acquired Ramesh Chauhan’s portfolio of aerated drinks in 1993 — when Coca-Cola India had faced allegations of neglecting Thums Up.

To leverage its strong carbonation flavour, Thums Up’s positioning as a macho drink endorsed by Akshay Kumar, with advertising almost al ways hinging on dare devilry, has worked well for the brand. Thums Up’s key markets include Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

On Imran’s endorsement, the company spokesperson said: “It would be premature for us to comment on the signing of Imran Khan as the ambassador for any of our brands.” Last month, Coca-Cola decided not to renew its contract with Hrithik Roshan.

Coca-Cola India posted unit case volume growth of 37% for the July September ’09 quarter – its 13th consecutive quarter of growth. A combination of factors like investments in bottling lines, upping distribution footprint by tapping smaller tier-two and tier-three towns and cities, introduction of beverages in multiple pack sizes and localised marketing activities have led to volume growth of the category.

As per media tracking agency TAM Media, Coca-Cola is was the country’s third biggest advertiser after Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser in the January-September ’09 period.

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January 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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